It was the perfect ending to both a day that started off slowly and a three-day regatta forced by light winds to count only two days of racing.
After waiting on the water for two hours this morning, sailors on 79 boats entered in the nternational Rolex Regatta got the weather break they needed when clouds over a course set on the south end of St. Thomas spirited up enough wind for two races. It was almost a repeat of yesterday's scenario, when three races were completed in similar 10-15 knot northeasterly breezes that emerged during the afternoon. With five races to count in this 29th annual mainstay of Caribbean racing, 12 winners from as many classes went home with trophies and Rolex timepieces to show for their perseverance and skill.
In the event's largest class--Spinnaker Racing Class 2--Puerto Rico's Efrain Lugo (Ponce), aboard his Melges 24 named Orion, turned in a 5-1 today to combine with yesterday's 1-2-1 to take the class. According to tactician Robbie Ramos (Ponce), this is the seventh time Orion has sailed in this regatta with the same crew. "This was the first time we were not assigned to a one-design class, so it was a lot of fun to see how we sailed against other boats that are not like us."
"In the first race it was crazy wind, and we were mixed right in there with boats (from other classes) double our size. We had a bad start, but in the second race, two boats had a collision at the pin end of the start and left a six-foot gap for us. We port-tacked with the big boats coming at us and then went to starboard. We hit the left side of the course because there was a squall there and this paid off."
It could be argued that squalls--prevalent but churning out only light showers and slightly increased winds--played into just about everyone's strategy today.
"It wasn't easy," said crewmember Ben Beer (St. Thomas) about winning the Over 50-Foot Class aboard Tom Hill's Puerto Rican entry Titan XI, an Andrews 70. "It never is, but we had extremely good crew work. It you would have put our crew aboard Equation, we would have won with Equation."
Equation, a Santa Cruz 68, was the defending champion in this class, which originally had three boats entered, but wen to two after an accident yesterday left the Custom 73-foot Donnybrook too crippled to complete the series.
In Spinnaker Racing Class 2, yesterday's leader Mermaid II, a Custom 40 footer, conceded to Twisted Lizard, Mike Lathrope's (Naperville, Ill./St. Thomas) Mumm 30, which posted two bullets today to rise from third to first in overall standings for the seven-boat fleet.
Hullabulloo, a Beneteau First owned by Phillip Allen (Southampton, U.K.), held onto yesterday's lead by posting a 1-2 today in the five-boat Spinnaker Racer Cruiser Class 1, as did Cold Beer 2, a Tartan 10, owned by John Schultheiss (Tortola, BVI), by posting two wins in the five-boat Spinnaker Racer Cruiser Class II.
It was no surprise that Enrique Figueroa (San Juan, P.R.), the multi-time world and national catamaran champion sailing Suzuki Tornado, topped the six-boat spinnaker Beach Cats Class 2 with two victories today to add to his string of three yesterday. It was unusually intriguing, however, that another Enrique Figueroa, unrelated but from the same town, topped the 10-boat Beach Cats Class 1 aboard his Exodus-Sambaigo.
Also coming as no surprise was Chris Rosenberg's five-zip win in the IC-24 class. Having won the regatta several times before in different classes of boats, Rosenberg has committed himself to sailing this unique Melges-J/24 hybrid that has helped rebuild the St. Thomas Yacht Club racing fleet. "Today it was demanding upwind and downwind but that's what it's all about," said Rosenberg.
Other winners were Ron Noonan (Marion, Mass./Tortola) aboard Wildflower in Non-Spinnaker Racing Class; Edwin Cruz (Fajardo, P.R.) aboard Nemesis in Jib& Main class; Antonio Mari Jr. (San Juan) aboard Ex Mero Motu in J-80 class; and Scott/Peter Stanton (St. Croix) aboard Jersey Devil in J-24 class.
Today's original schedule had called for the running of the Coral World Race, an around-island tradition usually reserved for the last day. An optional Governor's Race, scheduled for last Wednesday, was cancelled due to lack of air and its trophies given to the race's registrants who earned the highest scores in relative classes during the first official race of the International Rolex Regatta. These winners were not available at press time.
Top Three Final Results after Five Races
Racing Over 50 Ft. Class (3 boats)
TITAN XI, Andrews 70, Tom Hill, San Juan, P.R., 1-1-1-1-1; 5
EQUATION, Santa Cruz 68, Bill Alcott, St. Claire Shores, Mich., 2-2-2-2-2; 10
DONNYBROOK, Custom 73, James Muldoon, Washington, D.C., 3-3-4-4-4; 18
Spinnaker Racing Class 1 (7 boats)
TWISTED LIZARD, Mumm 30, Mike Lathrope, Naperville, Ill./St. Thomas, USVI, 3-2-4-1-1; 11
MERMAID II, Custom 40, Bill Berardelli, Bluebell, Pa./Tortola, BVI, 1-1-3-5-3; 13
CACCIA ALLA VOLPE, Vallicelli 44, Carlo Falcone, Antigua, 5-4-2-2-2; 15
Spinnaker Racing Class 2 (13 boats)
ORION, Melges 24, Efrain Lugo, Ponce, P.R., 1-1-1-5-1; 9
2 CONTACT CARIB, Melges 24, Fritz Bus, St. Maarten, AHO, 2-2-2-6-3; 15
LOST HORIZON II, Olson 30, James Dobbs, Antigua, 6-4-3-1-8; 22
Spinnaker Racer Cruiser Class 1 (5 boats)
HULLABULLOO, Beneteau First, Phillip Allen, Southampton, U.K., 2-1-1-1-2; 7
PIPE DREAM, Sirena 38, Peter Haycraft, Tortola, BVI, 1-2-2-2-1; 8
SPIRIT OF ISIS, Farr 65, Harry Spedding, U.K., 5-3-3-3-3; 17
Spinnaker Racer Cruiser Class 2 (5 boats)
COLD BEER 3, Tartan 10, John Schultheiss, Tortola, BVI, 1-1-1-1-1; 5
DISCO INFERNO, Sigma 33, Matt Abbiss, Herts, U.K., 3-2-2-2-3; 12
J.DOE, J/30, Cynthia Ross, St. Thomas, USVI, 2-4-3-3-2; 14
Beach Cats Class 1 (10 boats)
EXODUS-SAMBIAGO, Hobie 16, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, P.R.1-1-1-5-1; 9
BLAME IT ON RHEA, Prindle 19, Mark Chong, St. Thomas, USVI, 6-2-4-1-4; 17
YUISA, Hobie 16, Rosarito Martinez, San Juan, P.R., 7-3-2-4-2; 18
Beach Cats Class 2 (6 boats)
SUZUKI TORNADO, Tornado 20, Enrique Figueroa, San Juan, P.R., 1-1-1-1-1; 5
RED HOOK AGENCIES, Inter 20, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 2-2-3-2-2; 11
CENTURY 21, Tornado, Terry Jackson, St. Thomas, USVI, 3-3-2-3-3; 14
Non Spinnaker Racing Class (3 boats)
WILDFLOWER, Ron Noonan, Marion, Mass./Tortola, BVI, 1-1-1-2-1; 6
ATN, J/27, Marcus Compton, St. Thomas, USVI, 2-2-2-1-2; 9
JECY, Oceanis 461, Emanuel Giancomelli/Stefano Spangaro, Rimini, Italy, 3-3-3-4-4; 17
Fun Class - Jib & Main (no pole) (5 boats)
NEMESIS, Hunter 42, Edwin Cruz, Fajardo, P.R., 2-1-1-1-1; 6
WINDFLOWER, Alberg 35, Stan Joines, St. Croix, USVI, 1-2-2-2-2; 9
FAR CRY, Bombay Clipper, Herve Chassin, St. Thomas, USVI, 4-3-3-3-4; 17
IC-24 Class (10 boats)
OLD & GRAY, Chris Rosenberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 1-1-1-1-1; 5
VOILA, Tracy Roberts/Anthony Kotoun, St. Thomas, USVI/Newport, R.I., 5-2-3-3-2; 15
RED DOG, IC-24, Mike Williams/Skip King/Jessica Rosenberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 2-3-4-7-5; 21
J/80 Class (4 boats)
EX MERO MOTU, J/80, Antonio Mari Jr., San Juan, P.R., 1-1-1-1-1; 5
ABRACADABRA, J/80, Carlos Camacho, P.R., 2-2-3-2-3; 12
SUN BUM II, J/80, Angel Ayala, Carolina, P.R., 3-4-2-3-2; 14
J/24 Class (7 boats)
JERSEY DEVIL, J/24, Scott/Peter Stanton, St. Croix, USVI, 8-2-1-4-1; 16
DON Q CRISTAL, Michael Serralles, P.R., 8-1-3-1-3; 16
BACARDIO/URAYO, Gilberto Rivera, P.R., 1-8-2-3-2; 16